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Posts: 73
Reply with quote  #1 

Over the last few years, I have been able to identify and consolidate gaps in operations between the online and LAN events I host. These gaps are considered opportunities to provide a working solution. The three key indicators of any social group that requires balancing are the environment of people and online or in person culture, the nitty gritty business to keep things working and the overall fun one has. Balance these three categories and the recipe for success should follow.

Inspired by many Internet of Things such as Google Doodle, Jellyvision Lab's Jackbox, Slate's Discord Kitten-Bot (aka 1980's MUDD style play) and running Artemis SBS at Conventions. I wrote out a quick project charter to provide a solution which adds values in many areas as I identified as "needs improvement".

The first part of a solution was to round up players, assign them roles on the bridge and have the host start up a mission with some role playing as quickly as possible. Using either the computer or mobile devices, one could kick off a hosted game or event from an administrative perspective, and have people join with minimal barriers.

Information is gathered, passed around and eventually people are connected to a host, been assigned a role on the bridge and a game starts in little to no time. The value here is that there isn't the usual dialogue of, can anyone host, what position to do you want or what game type does anyone want to play? Although, good social interactions comes out of those conversations, I have found that it could take up to 30 minutes at worst before a simulation actually starts.

For conventions, where I am working on endorsing/commissioning multiple communities to play on a regular basis. I have found useful information given to those who are interested happens via the Internet's social media, email and even interactive websites. Thus, through the getting sorted process, getting permission to collect email addresses to add to a newsletter through different campaign styles; this covers the business administrative aspect.

The fun part is subjective. Each person I've asked if they are having fun would tell me that they are, and soon after describes what we do and why it is fun to them. It is all across the spectrum and one cannot really narrow it down to one or two things. So that is hard for me to measure, but I find that imagination and role playing would be the fun indicators at the moment. Fun cannot be measured is what I am told...

So, I cobbled up this web browser and mobile based solution where a host can announce a game, with some role playing and story telling elements, while campaigning to ethically and legally gather email addresses for those interested with being notified of future games. While keeping the IoT process simple and close to barrier free.

My first prototype is now online and available for those who want to take a stab at it. I hope it brings value to your group when crews are forming and assembling to play both online and in your living rooms. Like any project, as I am inspired or the needs arise, I'll upgrade or add more features.

As a software application developer by day, I try not to spend all my evenings and weekends coding. However, times where I am inspired by all those I interact with in the community, I am driven to create and throw down software solutions like to see if it will stick or not. Thanks to this community, you provide me with the inspiration to be innovative from a business, social and amusement perspective.

Enjoy this Mission and Assignment administrative system for ad hoc games.

Happy playing!

[Assignments]  A quick summary and overview of the application's workflow.


Posts: 206
Reply with quote  #2 
Is it possible to get ahold of the software to run on our own internal webserver that we run at conventions?

Posts: 73
Reply with quote  #3 
Originally Posted by anwoke8204
Is it possible to get ahold of the software to run on our own internal webserver that we run at conventions?

Thank you for reaching out. I have not thought about it running as an appliance with no internet access at conventions. The general implementation idea was that people would use their smartphones to log themselves into a position. That being said, it is assumed their devices would have connectivity to the Internet in some capacity. Let me think about that as I have not considered a non accessible internet web application at the moment. 


Posts: 73
Reply with quote  #4 
Testing of this application has been underway now for 14 days. I am happy to report we've made good progress. The application uses some online APIs, so it can't really live offline per the framework. I will look at having locally cached data in the event the APIs goes offline for any reason. In that event, the application could then have a possible life per anwoke8204's request.

There have been 146 logged missions into the application to date. Some real good and some not so good! Everyone has been both receptive to trying out a new tool and have provided valuable insight based on the goals stated. 

Feedback has been great both in person with TSN Canada, on USN Discord and Eastern Front. I hope to continue testing the application next week. Change log below! 

Good hunting everyone,

October 25, 2018
- roughed in edit mission summary
- fully randomizes position when update assignment button is pressed
- mission locks down after x minutes by campaign setting, new players cannot join thereafter
- cosmetic UI changes for the host screen


Posts: 73
Reply with quote  #5 
We have met all the basic goals for this application to date. This weekend, I hope to put the application to the test in a production environment at an Extra Life event.

So I have promoted the application. The test environment will continue to operate and now SSL is enabled throughout, we have begun the collection of email addresses on a voluntary basis. I will continue posting change logs updates to this forum as we move forward. I believe minor changes will follow, unless new business requirements comes along.

Thank you everyone for testing out this prototype, and for moving it along through the test and into production phases.

Change Log:
October 31, 2018
- UI changes to the Player join screen, including optional email address collection per campaign
- DamCon team names added to the roster for the host
- Player who joins doesn't provide a name, a random name will be assigned one

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